The concept is simple; the rewards are priceless! Read a book (any book) to your young child. The goal is to have read 1,000 books before your little one begins kindergarten. Perhaps the goal sounds daunting at first but reading just one book each day will leave you with 1,095 books after only three years. Along the way, there will be 10 milestones (increments of 100) to celebrate on your child’s way to 1,000. The program is part of a national literacy initiative to encourage parents and caregivers to read often to their children before they begin school.
How to register
Registering your little one is simple! You can contact or visit the youth department and tell the staff that you would like to register for the program. Any child from birth until she/he enters kindergarten is eligible.
- Staff will ask for the child’s first and last name, their age, the name of a parent/guardian, and the parent/guardian’s contact information. All information will be added to the program spreadsheet. We do not share this information with anyone and will only use the contact information when needing to provide updates concerning the program.
- Staff will also provide you with an information sheet for the program and a tracking sheet (unless you plan to use the app).
- Once the child has chosen and colored their bug silhouette, their registration is complete!
How the Library keeps track
When a child starts the program, they will get to choose a bug silhouette to color in. The youth staff will then place that bug on a large sunflower in the Storytime area. Both the sunflower and this program have ten milestones in increments of 100. One milestone for every 100 books read! Each time your child reaches a milestone, check-in at the youth desk, and your reader will receive a sticker and can move their bug up the sunflower to the next milestone. For every 200 books read, the reader will also get to pick out a free book to take home! Upon completing 1,000 books, your child will receive a graduation cap, a certificate, another free book, and their tracker bug. We will also have periodic graduation ceremonies to recognize children who finish the program.
How to participate
After registering, begin reading with your child. Studies show that reading with your child provides great opportunities for bonding and creating life-long memories for both adult and child! Keep track of the titles of the books that you read with your child. Make a record of what you read with a notebook, our reading log sheets, online, or by whatever method works best for you! Many families keep these records for keepsakes and scrapbooking purposes. Visit the library after every 100 books to update your child’s progress.
How families keep track
There are multiple ways that families can keep track of their child’s progress in the program. As stated before, one way is to keep track of the titles read. The staff in the youth department have two different kinds of tracking sheets. One is a reading log where titles can be listed. Each sheet has 100 slots, and they are numbered. The other is a coloring sheet with 100 icons that can be colored in by the participating child. Also, feel free to utilize the >1,000 Books Before Kindergarten App.
Frequently asked questions
- Who can participate? Any child from birth or until they enter kindergarten can participate.
- How long will the program take? The program will take anywhere from a few months to a few years. The program is self-paced and will depend on how often you read together.
- How many of my children can participate? All of them (who haven’t reached kindergarten). Make it even
more fun and read as a family!
- Does reading the same book multiple times count? Absolutely! In fact, reading the same story
over and over again builds confidence and familiarity with words and reinforces that stories are
- What books count? Any book that is read out loud to the child counts! Coming to the
library’s Storytime, family reading over the phone, any time a story is read!
- What should we read? Check out this booklist for ideas: >Books Your Child Should Hear Before Kindergarten